President of the Senate, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, on Thursday joined world leaders and people around the world to commemorate the International Women’s Day 2018, just as many women across Africa launched a Big Sister Movement to end female genital mutilation and early child marriage in the Continent.
In a series of tweets on his @BukolaSaraki handle, the Senate President emphasised the role and significance of women in both the development of Nigeria, and the world.
“Today, on International Women’s Day, I join the world to celebrate our mothers, our sisters, our daughters, our colleagues and our friends who wake up each day and work to make the world a better place.
“In particular, today, I celebrate those women, who have played, and continue to play their part in the development of our country — in every sector, in every way, and at every point in our young, but significant history.
“As a father to three young women; a husband to a charismatic wife who is making great contributions in her own right; a colleague to a few but effective legislators; and a son — every day, I witness firsthand the strength and resilience of women.
“I see their impact in all areas of human endeavour, and testify to their resilience, their bravery, and their ability to get things done.
“Therefore, today, I join the world to press for progress and I recommit to pushing for more female participation in the economic and political processes of our nation.”
The BIG SISTER MOVEMENT (BSM) is the largest grassroots coalition of Local NGOs led by women survivors of FGM/C’s from The Gambia, Sierra Leone, Nigeria, Kenya and Somalia with the aim of giving back the testimonies and scope of actions to survivors, to enable them to tell their own stories, advocate and find grassroots solutions to the issue of FGM/C in Africa.
“For too long, international organisations have been leading the campaign in Africa, implementing programs together with local activists in our communities. The time has come for Africans across the Continent and the world to be at the forefront of the campaign to end female genital mutilation and early child marriage in Africa by 2030”, according to Jaha Dukureh, a Founding Coalition Member and 2018 Nobel Peace Prize Nominee.
“African women tend to be perceived as women who need to be saved. They are never considered as the actual saviours.This is what the Big Sister Movement is about. This is the reason for us choosing the International Women’s day to launch our movement, precisely to empower this vision”, added Augustine Abu, a BSM Coalition member.
The Big Sister Movement is connected by the common goal to ban FGM/C in Africa and to ensure that the ban is implemented across all AU Member Countries where the practice is still dominant through the strategic training and empowerment of grassroots leaders and campaigners. #BANFGM2030.